07/11/2012 // Tallahassee, FL, USA // Florida Justice Association // Debra Henley // (Blog)
The False Claims Act, more commonly known as the federal whistleblower law, has again been wielded to protect citizens from the profiteering of drug companies promoting the off-label use of their drugs. The resulting fines levied against two pharmaceutical giants and possibly a third, will total nearly $8 billion when the dust settles for Glaxo (GSK), Abott (ABT), and perhaps Johnson & Johnson (JNJ). The only problem is the damage may already be done and no executive will ever serve jail time.
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In the largest settlement involving a pharmaceutical company, the British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges and pay $3 billion in fines for promoting its best-selling antidepressants for unapproved uses and failing to report safety data about a top diabetes drug, federal prosecutors announced Monday. The fine against GlaxoSmithKline over Paxil, Wellbutrin, Avandia and the other drugs makes this year a record for money recovered by the federal government.
More Reading:After six years of bribing American doctors, pushing antidepressants on children and hiding the heart attack risk of a diabetes drug